There they were again, or maybe there she was. Staring me down as I pulled into my garage this morning.
These two lamps were given to me by my late sister probably 20 years ago, just seven years or so before she died in a car accident at 36. She gave them to me when her budget allowed her to upgrade her lamp status and when my budget was in need of free lamps.
I probably thought they were way attractive at the time, but they’re really not. Or at least not now after years of use and an inexpensive foundation to begin with. My sister would almost suredly agree. They’ve served us well as bedside lamps for many years. I have wanted to change them out more times than I can count. In the last few years in particular they’ve seemed a tad sketchy electrically speaking. The one by my side of the bed even had a habit of turning on in the middle of the night sometimes. Was it electrical? Hmmmm.
I have just enough belief in what’s out there in the spiritual world to be swayed by a psychic I once saw in an effort to communicate with my sister. She told me that my sister tries to communicate with me through lights and at night, in my dreams. I know you’re thinking – well sure, that’s a classic easy reach that anyone desperate to believe might make a connection with. I even thought so. Or did I?
As a true skeptic who even tries to set psychic types up to fail, I also yearn to believe that maybe — just maybe — they really can help me talk to her. There are just so many things I would ask her. There are so many memories from my childhood when I lived with my mom and my sister (the Three Musketeers) where I can’t quite recall all of the details. Who would have imagined my sister would be gone and my mother would end up with Alzheimer’s so advanced that she hardly even speaks? Who would have thought I should have been taking notes for goodness sakes? They say it is this kind of love — and love lost — that flames our endless desire to communicate with those who have passed on before us. Especially those that weren’t supposed to.
Back to the lamps. So, I religiously watch the Hoarding, Buried Alive television show, which to my family’s amusement is what causes me to go on mad purging binges – clothes, furniture, you name it. My unneeded hoard finds its way to my donate bins and designated areas at least twice a month. Afterall, it’s just stuff. And if I’m not using it, someone could. Plus, from what I witnessed in the homes of my late grandparents on both sides, I’m afraid I just might have a tad bit of a hoarding gene in me somewhere.
So, finally I decided it was time to donate these lamps and get real “grownup” bedside lamps. My husband appeased me and accompanied me to many stores in search of the perfect bedside lamps, which we found. I still don’t feel like a grownup, but that’s beside the point.
But what to do with the lamps? I regularly give most of my donation worthy items to my housekeepers – furniture and all. They strike gold at my house at least monthly. Or I like to think they do. I just wish I could understand what they were saying to each other whenever they bag up my donate bin that I keep next to the vacuum. For all I know it could be “Look at this crap this lady thinks we want…” But I like to think it’s not, especially since they take it enthusiastically. At any rate, I didn’t want to give them these lamps in case they really did have electrical problems. That would keep me up worrying for sure. And I knew that Goodwill probably has to test everything before they sell it. Or that’s what I tell myself.
So, on three different occasions I have loaded these lamps in the back of my car to take them to the Goodwill donation center along with my other purge-fest prizes. It’s always right at the moment when the guys helping me unload my Hoarding Buried Alive load of treasures point to the lamps and say “these too?” when I freeze. I tell them not to take the lamps, just everything else. Then I carefully drive the lamps back to my house and set them at the front of my garage again until I can figure out what to do with them.
I also have a purse my sister gave me that I will never carry again because it’s such a bad luxury brand knock-off. But I vividly remember how proud she was to buy it for me and how excited I was to have it (same spot in my budget timeline as the lamps). I remember how much she smiled as I modeled it. I will never donate it, even after a hoarding series marathon. I also have a cheesy belt that she gave me that I will never wear, but that reminds me of us going through each other’s closets and making fun of clothes in need of purging. Both items hang inside my closet where I can see them and just know they are there.
Maybe these lamps are my sister’s way of staying in my busy life when I try so hard to keep her memory alive but life gets in the way. And for that I’m grateful. I think I’ll find a place for them afterall.